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10 September 2006

Lausitzring Race Ends in Disappointment for Tunstall

Tom Tunstall left the tenth round of the World Supersport championship at Lausitz, in Germany a disappointed man after tyre problems prevented him the chance of securing championship points. Tom, riding the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR arrived in Germany in positive mood after his strong ride in Assen last weekend, but excessive tyre wear made it impossible for Tom to show what he was capable of.

Qualifying for the 23 lap World Supersport race took place in dry, sunny conditions and with no previous knowledge of the technical German track, Tom and the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport team worked hard to find the optimum set-up for the bike. Despite numerous changes and improvements to the bike set-up, which enabled Tom to slash nearly five seconds off his time from the opening practice session to final qualifying, Tom was left down in 30th place.

Tom elected to make a further change to the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR for the morning warm-up and again for the race, in an effort to improve the bike. From the eighth row of the grid, Tom made a brilliant start and decided to run around the outside of the 36 strong grid through the fast turn one. His commitment paid off and Tom was able to pick up a handful of places on the opening lap.

Unfortunately with just eight laps complete, Tom began to lose rear wheel grip and soon began spinning up the rear tyre on the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport Honda CBR600RR. The experienced 27 year old was able to adjust his riding style, but ten laps later the tyre was still losing grip and Tom was forced to enter the pits to change the tyre, ruining any chance of a point scoring finish.

"We tested a number of tyre options for the race and decided to go with the slightly harder option because it gave me a little more stability. I felt we had a good set-up, but eight laps in to the race and the tyre went off and the bike started moving around a lot. I tried to continue to race and I was riding as smoothly as possible but in the end I had to pull in to the pits to change it," explained Tom.

"It's been a tough weekend all in all. The track seems hard to set the bike up for and with no previous knowledge of the place it took us a long time to get the bike competitive. We've made some good progress with the bike though and our times have been improving all weekend, it's just a shame we never got the chance to really go for it in the race due to the lack of grip," he continued.

Tom and the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport team now have a two week break until the penultimate round of the 2006 championship at the famous Imola circuit in Italy on 29th September to 1st October 2006.